Purim is a most festive holiday. It particularly resonates with us since it occurred at a time when the Jews had been exiled from Israel and the Temple had been destroyed. As the story of the Megilla unfolds, we see G-d closely watching over us and bringing us an unbelievable salvation.

The events of Purim brought the Jews to a renewed appreciation of our Torah.

Our Sages teach us that until Purim, there was a trace of doubt whether the Jews at Mount Sinai accepted the Torah freely or under duress, for the Talmud tells us that when G-d was ready to give us the Torah, He uprooted the mountain and held it over us and said, “If you accept the Torah that is fine. But if not, it will be your burial spot.” This kind of sounds like coercion! That was the sentiment until Purim, when this all changed. This requires some explanation.

A friend of mine once told me, “Rabbi, if G-d came to me and revealed Himself, then I would believe in G-d.” I recall that my response to him was, “Think of it, looking at the sun, a mere creation of G-d is blinding – how do you expect to look at G-d?”

There was a one time event when the Jewish nation had an encounter with G-d. That was at Mount Sinai when we received the Torah. The experience was so extremely powerful that the impact of each of G-d’s utterances propelled the bodies of the Jews a great distance. In addition, their Neshamos – souls – expired. Every time, G-d sent dew from heaven that revived them, and brought them back to the mountain.

When one is exposed to G-d with such clarity, it leaves no wiggle room for doubt. Yes, the Jews said “We will do and we will listen,” however, the clarity of the experience was as if G-d held the mountain over their heads, and in a certain degree, they were considered coerced into accepting the Torah.

As we mentioned, the Purim miracle occurred at a low time for the Jews. G-d had distanced Himself from them because they rejected Him. The Jews felt lost and without hope, for G-d seemed to have turned away from them.

However, G-d in His Torah, tells us He will never totally abandon the Jews. Yes, it looked as if the Jews were doomed with Haman’s decree for the genocide of the Jews that was stamped and sealed for the 13th of Adar. But even before Haman’s decree, G-d had already prepared by having the great Sage Mordechai and the righteous Queen Esther in place. They as a team brought the Jews to repent for their misdeed of participating in Achashvairosh’s feast. Because Achashvairosh thought that the allotted time for the Jews to rebuild the Temple had passed, he made the 187 day feast celebrating this. The Jews joined this celebration.

Haman’s threat against the Jews caused them to reconnect to G-d, and they saw G-d’s salvation. They realized that He was there for them even though His existence was veiled. There were no obvious revelations, no wow nor awe.

This caused all Jews to recommitment to accept G-d and His Torah not only without coercion but with an excitement, a bond, and dedication lasting forever.

This recommitment was so strong that during the ensuing second Temple period there was a tremendous resurgence of Torah learning, particularly in the area of expounding the Oral Law – through the formation of the writing of the Mishna and then the Talmud which we are most fortunate to be able to study, expound and live by!

Purim is a time to reconnect to G-d. It’s an auspicious time to ask G-d for whatever we need. There is an idiom regarding giving Tzdaka on Purim, “Anyone who extends his hand you give to him, no questions asked.” Our Chasidic Masters extend this to prayer on Purim as well. “Whoever extends their hand – in prayer to Hashem – He gives to them!”

One Purim a student visited the great Sage Rabbi Moshe Feinstein o.b.m. and asked him for a blessing and added, “I want a blessing to be like you!” Reb Moshe responded, “G-d can give you much more than what I have!” Reb Moshe would not agree to give such a blessing, he felt that it would be a blessing with limitations. However, from G-d we can ask without bounds!